Imagine my glee and surprise, when I arrived at the office with a fresh new Asheron's Call to play.
Oh, the joy and excitement. It's my good fortune to be able to tell you the upside and downside of what we followers are already referring to as A. C.
The downsides; minimal. You may experience a conspicuous need to play this online fantasy hours and hours on end. There is no banking system at this time, so as you acquire items and money you should convert them to trade notes or give them to your vassals. What's a vassal? Why, a faithful follower of course. Someone you show the ropes to. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.
You enter the world of Dereth as a member of one of three cultures; the Aluvian, the Gharu'ndim, or the Sho. They roughly mirror European, Middle-Eastern/North African, and East Asian cultures. Once you've entered this world, you may either select preset character classes or customize their statistics and skills.
Graphics? Excellent. The world of Dereth is so realistic and attractive, you'll wish you were there. The layout options for various overlays are very well organized, and conveniently situated. You can setup assorted hotkeys, such as an unattended run across the landscape (holding that up key gets tiresome after awhile), and create new spells.
Oh that's right... I forgot to mention, you discover spells on your own. That is, find various combinations of components, mix them together, and try them. If they work, you've figured out a new spell. If not... oh well! Components aren't that expensive. If you think you have a spell that no one else knows, you may want to be careful about the number of people you share that knowledge with. Magic is watered down by the more people who know about it.
Vassals and fellowships speed up the rate you gain experience. By attacking and vanquishing monsters together, you will be able to gain experience at a faster rate than you would alone. Periodically, you'll meet requirements to advance stats and skills. I suggest you build your run skill... it's valuable in this huge realm. Meanwhile, as you gain experience, you may want to consider training some newbies and making them your vassals. Not only does it look cool, having vassals and all, but it increases your stats that much quicker.
My best advice: stay in character, use in moderation, and keep your weather on particular spawning areas with Lugian giants. They're big nasties, believe you me.
This game has no download associated with it. Following is a review of the full version of the software.